Transparency International's Russia branch placed on foreign agents list
MOSCOW, April 8 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Justice Ministry has added Russian branch of international anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International on the list of foreign agents, Elena Panfilova, vice-chair of TI's International Board of Directors, told RAPSI.
TI-R will appeal against the prosecutors’ recommendation at the Tagansky District Court in Moscow on April 9.
According to Anton Pominov, Research Director at TI-R, prosecutors say the center’s activities interfere with the government’s anti-corruption policy.
Pominov said that prosecutors, for all practical purposes, demanded that they file a request for being placed on the foreign agents list.
He said that prosecutors’ arguments are based on the donation agreements signed between TI-R and Berlin-based secretariat of Transparency International, as well as the press release posted on TI-R’s site on the day when Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 was made public.
Pominov added that Transparency International Russia operates “within the framework of the National Anti-Corruption Plan [approved by the Russian president in July 2008] and its work is aimed at ensuring the implementation of a policy as defined by the country’s top political official.”
“We categorically reject the prosecutors’ allegations and believe that the provisions on which they are based are essentially wrong,” Pominov said.
Since November 2012, political NGOs funded from abroad were compelled by law to register as foreign agents. In June 2013, the Justice Ministry was granted authority to classify NGOs as foreign agents at its own discretion and included a number of organizations in its register.
In December 2014, the Russian Ministry of Justice proposed excluding NGOs from the registry of foreign agents upon requests of the NGOs after occasional compliance inspections.